Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sunset Cruise With JoJo

Hi All,
A front has been moving through for the past few days, dumping lots of rain on the islands. We tried going out one day but after bouncing all over on Grace Bay opted for the channels. I had packed a small lunch for the iguanas figuring we might end up there. I added bread sticks to their usual raisin rations. As we approach their beach the male who I've named Rex (tyrannosaurus) came running down (JoJo isn't the only one who knows our boat!) soon the female pops out of the low scrub brush and runs our way. Their short little legs paddle out to the side as they come running. They start gobbling up the raisins as I toss them up on the shore Soon another female who we hadn't seen comes down. This doesn't set well with the first female. She tries to run her off but she lingers on the out skirts hoping I might fling a raison within her reach. I break up the bread sticks to see how they's go over. Rex without hesitation grabs one holding it like a dog with a bone and crunches it up. We end the afternoon with a nice long snorkel. The tide is going out which produces a strong current through the channel. This makes for a strenuous swim away from the boat and a fast easy swim back. The closer you get to the mangroves the more fish you can see darting in and out of the mangrove roots.
The following day we bring out Lucy who has joined us from London. She is a grad student working on acoustics with marine mammals. She is hoping to match up noises with behavior. I'm looking forward to hearing more noises that the dolphins are making. It is grey everywhere with many clouds producing yet more rain! The good part is she needed some time to get set up with her equipment. We eventually come in because it is raining everywhere. However, as soon as we get to the condo the sun comes out (typical) and John and I head right back to the marina. Lucy stays back to fix the calibration of her hydrophone.
We find JoJo almost at the end of Pine Cay. He heads right to our boat and goes directly to the back. It couldn't have been more obvious that he wanted a ride if he'd put his thumb out! It's now about 3 in the afternoon. We head to the end of Pine Cay then past Fort George, Dellis Cay, Parrot Cay and start heading down North Caicos. It has occurred to me that he just wants the company of our boat sort of like traveling along with a big dolphin. As we head along North Caicos, it is very shallow and there are treacherous coral heads just under the surface. The sun is dropping in the sky which will make it very hard to get back due to the glare. Finally John (the voice of reason ) says we must turn back even though we are dying to know if JoJo is touring or has a meeting planned. I always hate to leave him. I prefer he leaves us but I'd rather not spend the night stuck somewhere in the shallow water! We turn around and start picking our way back through the coral heads. I stand on the bow directing as best I can. JoJo turns around as well! He stays right with us. I think my first theory that he feels safe in the company of our boat. So besides using only half the energy to travel, he gets to cruise his watery home with company. He stays with us all the way into the mouth of leeward before branching off. It is now dark as we make our way into the marina.

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